Obama to Announce Economic Recovery Advisory Board Friday

By Nitya

Feb 5, 2009 4:35pm

ABC News Jake Tapper and Karen Travers Report:

President Obama will name the members of his Economic Recovery Advisory Board and outline its mission on Friday at the White House.

Former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker will serve as the chairman of the board. Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee will serve as staff director and chief economist and act as the primary liaison between the board and the Obama Administration.

Obama announced this board at a press conference on Nov. 26, 2008 in Chicago and said that it is modeled on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (FISA) board in that it will provide “rigorous analysis and vigorous oversight” as the administration formulates economic policy.

Obama said that day that the board would be composed of individuals outside of government – from business, labor, academia and other areas – and will report regularly to him, Vice President Biden and the economic team.

Why go outside of Washington to find members for this advisory board?

“Fresh perspective,” Obama said, because policymaking in Washington can be “a little bit too ingrown, a little bit too insular.”

“The walls of the echo chamber can sometimes keep out fresh voices and new ways of thinking. You start engaging in groupthink,” Obama said. “And those who serve in Washington don’t always have a ground-level sense of which programs and policies are working for people and businesses, and which aren’t.”

– JAKE TAPPER and KAREN TRAVERS

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